Where do you go to school? What are the advantages and disadvantages of living at school?
I am a boarder at Bedales School. When I first started boarding, I had a few problems; for most people at the age of 14 being away from their parents for an extended period of time is trying, but something I learnt very quickly is that they are only a phone call away, and are always there to tell about how your day went or talk about any problems. One of the biggest things that I liked about boarding is that I could interact more with people of my own age than I was used to. This made settling in very easy for me and I soon found that I had a group of people that I could be friends with and talk to in the evenings.
What do you intend to do after graduation? How does your course work at Bedales prepare you for that future?
In the future, I would like to go into the acting business mainly in films. I have a few thoughts about going to acting school, either somewhere in England, or I have been thinking a bit about going to a drama school in America. All these things are very circumstantial and I have a few more years to decide fully what I want to do. Doing drama at Bedales has really given me a chance to experience acting first hand. I was recently in a play as part of my GCSE coursework. Something I was truly impressed by was the amount of dedication I found in myself and in the other three members of the cast that was reflected greatly in the final result.
What is the purpose of the GCSE course of study? How does this program differ from an American high school program?
GCSE stands for General Certificate of Secondary Education. This is actually a tricky question for me, there are many times that I have asked myself this very same question. I have a feeling that the purpose of GCSEs varies for each person that studies them. They are studied across the country so there must be some accuracy in this statement. For me, they have given me a chance to study a variety of different subjects which will let me make a better informed choice for my A levels and my later career. I am afraid that I don't know anything about the American high school system so I cannot make any comparisons or contrasts.
When you were younger, what did you dream to grow up to be?
When I was younger, I always had the dream of being a vet and looking after animals. I have always liked animals and I like to help with people's problems. Then in block three of Bedales, at the age of fourteen I started doing drama. I found that in acting I could express all the parts of me that never appear in my everyday interaction with people. I could again bring out the small child in me who enjoyed dressing up and being the centre of attention. I have always looked up to my grandfather who was a camera man, and I have always admired actors who have the talent to touch people's hearts in a very intimate way. I have always been a dreamer and drama is a way for me to realise those dreams.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Manama in Bahrain. I remember very little of it as we moved to England when I was three. In my life I have been to Spain, France, Malta and Saudi Arabia among a few others. I would have to say that Spain is one of my favourite places in the world. The people are so friendly and welcoming and the culture is so amazing.
What languages do you speak?
At school I am in the top sets for both French and Spanish. My knowledge of French is good enough for me to survive on my own. I couldn't have a conversation with someone on the political situation, but I could eat and drink and live very comfortably. Spanish is so far a work in progress; I have been studying it for about a year and three months now. When I started, I had a very, very basic knowledge which I got from my father, and my many visits to my grandfather in Spain. I can see how being multilingual will be very useful. French, Spanish and English are probably the world's three most spoken languages and it is possible to travel to almost any country in the world and get by on one of the three.
Do you believe it is difficult to "follow in the footsteps" of an older brother? What are the advantages and disadvantages of being the second born?
My brother is three years older than me; his path is a very different one from mine in many ways and one that I think would be very hard for me to follow due to the fact that I am a very free spirit and would find it hard to take the same path as my brother as I always find myself wanting to do my own thing. I respect deeply the path that Peter has taken but I am afraid to say that it is one for him and him alone. Peter and I have been at the same school twice, but both times we were never there together at the same time. It has always been nice being the younger brother in the fact that I have someone more experienced in the ways of the world to go to with my problems. If I was given a choice as to whether to be the younger or older brother I would keep things exactly how they are.
What subjects have you enjoyed most at school through the years?
As I have said before, I am a keen fan of drama. I love having the ability to express myself in such a diverse way at my fingertips. As I said earlier, I love drama not because of the person I am, but because of the person who I am not who is released when I act.
Which subjects have been the most difficult or least enjoyable for you?
I have had many problems with doing languages, because I have always found it difficult to remember things such as vocabulary. Hence, my weekly vocab test scores have not been something that I am proud of.
Do you play sports? If so, what do you play?
I don't tend to play too much sport, but one game I do love playing is golf. There is something very pleasurable about playing a round of golf. It is a very peaceful game that if played properly can be very satisfying to play.
What television programs or movies are your favourites (past and present)?
Where to start with this question? There are many films that I love. To name a few there some such as: The Usual Suspects; The Shawshank Redemption; The Good, The Bad and The Ugly; Enter the Dragon. I am a keen fan of films there are many more in the list, but these are only a few. Being at boarding school, I don't have the chance to watch much TV, but I am a keen fan of the Simpsons and also Futurama.
What type of music do you like to listen to? What are some of your favourite musical artists?
I like a variety of different kinds of music; I'm a fan of rock and bands such as The Darkness, Eels and Foo Fighters. But I love some of the greats, like Sinatra, Dean Martin and Andy Williams. And thanks to my father I am a strong fan of The Beatles.
What other activities do you enjoy participating in?
Last year, I found out that my school ran a SCUBA diving club. I immediately asked to be signed up and it is something I do not regret. There is a completely different world below the surface of the sea than there is above it. It is very quiet and peaceful and there are things to see that can take your breath away.
What words of encouragement do you have for younger students who read this interview?
When you're in school, things can often get you down very easily. But, no matter how hard things may seem they will improve if you give them a chance to. Course work will be handed in and deadlines will be met. And when they are it is one of the best feelings in the world. So all I can say, is persevere with the work, and don't let it get you too down, because after all it will come and go very quickly so there's no point in dwelling on it.
Is there anything else you would like to share with students around the world?
One thing I have to say to people my age who read this is to trust your friends and family. They are the two most important things for a student to have, because whenever problems are getting you down, it really helps to have someone to go to and talk to about how things are going. Even if they have no advice to offer, it can really help to talk to someone instead of carrying your problems by yourself and letting them weigh down your life.
- 11 November 2003
23 November 2003
© 2003 - Imagiverse Educational Consortium